Just want to give you a heads up that this will be a long post today.
I have some sad news for those of you who don't already know. First thing to share is that everyone is okay. But sadly Sheila, Mike, Hunter, Hannah and Lucky the cat's home caught on fire Friday night and it was quickly consumed by flames. Within minutes they had lost everything.
It started in the Pool shed right beside the house in the pool heater. Sheila had just arrived home and was watching the news when she heard what she thought sounded like hail hitting the house. When she went outside to investigate she thought it was strange that the water in the pool was still. Confused she turned to the side of the house where she had heard the noise to see flames on her roof. She went inside and grabbed the phone to call 911 but the phone died in her hands. She grabbed her purse and went outside calling for help. Her neighbours were already running to her from all directions and letting her know they called. She ran back into the house to make sure that her daughter wasn't sleeping in her room and to look for the family cat. After making sure Hunter was not there and a quick look for the cat she ran back out. She then tried to enter the house one last time to look for their beloved cat and thankfully her neighbour Al held Sheila and refused to let her go.
Al- we all owe you huge hugs and kisses for saving her from going back in. What she didn't realize is that the entire roof was now on fire and the garage roof was already collapsing. Thankfully no one else was home at the time.
I need to say this again- Al- thank you from all of us as for saving our beloved Sheila.
Myself, Lori, Kim and Sarah were with Sheila and her family through that long night and we were amazed by the community spirit of generosity and kindness that was already kicked into high gear that night and is still ongoing. Thank you to all of you. So very very much.
Two days later the house caught on fire again by a spark that the water hadn't got and was smoldering through the weekend. Sheila and Mike got a call that their house was on fire again - an 'umber fire'. And they had to go watch their house burn again.
In the middle of this terrible tragedy there were a few miracles.
-Lucky the cat was missing for hours and Sheila knew that she was still inside the house. The cat was 14 years old and scared so she likely went to the basement and hid when all the commotion started. Sheila asked for news of Lucky all through the night and kept getting told that the chances were slim to none. She was heartbroken. Then 6 hours after the fire had started there was shouting and the news that Lucky had been found spread quickly. A firefighter who was also a cat owner refused to stop looking for her and checked the flooded basement in all the spots he thought his cat would look and low and behold he found her behind a couch. This was the news that first brought them some comfort and I still get emotional remembering watching Sheila take off running towards the house and coming back with Lucky clutched in her arms.
-Outside of asking about Lucky, Sheila also kept mourning the loss of her children's special stuffed animals they were given at birth. Hannah's was a stuffed snowman called Snowgirl and Hunter's were a bear and some monkeys. All have been found and cleaned up as good as new by caring neighbours. They were surprised to find them coated in soot but otherwise still in one piece!!!
- Sheila is always cold and when we have travelled anywhere she dragged around this beloved blanket of hers that she would snuggle in. I still remember watching her curl up in it and sleep in airports while Kim and I watched her snore lol. I would call her Linus from the Peanuts cartoon as she brought it everywhere when away from home. Kim mentioned that she wanted to find a blanket for Sheila to replace the one that would have been destroyed. I remembered that I actually had one that was similar and quickly washed and dried it up for her. When I brought it to her she started crying and holding it around her like a warm hug. Turns out it was exactly like hers. So glad we could give her back her 'security' item.
-When Mike was asked what was one thing that he was hoping would be found he said that seeing his girls all have their one beloved item back in their arms was all that he needed. Seriously- my heart melted once again. That and their family photos and videos which were also found on a backup drive that looked to be untouched on the first night.
God bless those small miracles that help people heal during these times.
Many of you have asked how can you help. Help is needed and appreciated so thank you to those of you who can.
- The Optimist club in their town is in the process of getting a Trust Account set up for those who wish to donate some financial assistance. When we have the information we will share it here as well as on our SGD Facebook page.
- As well we have noted their clothing sizes on facebook as well. Some clothes have already started arriving and some back to school items to get the girls ready for their first day of school tomorrow.
- Items for donation can be dropped off at the store and one of the SGD Divas will help you with it when you arrive.
- Scrappingreatdeals is still open for business! You will see the Divas posting classes, Toonie Tuesdays, Product Talk Wednesdays and we will also Freaky Fridays with Karan starting in September too! Come and join us whenever you can and we will have fun and keep the store rocking!! Please be patient with us as we learn the ropes and roll up our sleeves to pitch in and keep things running smoothly while Sheila and Mike get things in place for their family for the next few months.
I could keep going on and on. In fact I have already deleted huge parts of this post to try and keep it somewhat under control.
I will leave you with this. Mike and Sheila are so grateful that no one was hurt. Things can be bought and replaced but people can't. Remember to always show those you love how you feel.
And I also have to share this. After Lucky suffered for a few days after the fire she has now started eating, drinking and peeing which are all amazing news! She is now resting and healing with her family. She never used to let Sheila pet or hold her and now they are bonded together and cuddle all the time. Here is a picture Sheila sent me tonight of Princess Lucky finally looking healthy and rested today.
Sheila, Mike and family want to thank everyone for all the love and support they are being shown.
Sheila and family- we love you.